Top Hops Beer Shop
Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
4.29/5 rDev -2.1%
Went to Top Hops our first day on an NYC vacation, and ended up going there total of three time (Including one 2.5 hour session doing crossword puzzles while my wife went to the nearby Tenement Museum). I really, really liked this place.
They have around 16 beers on tap at any given time, and they rotate frequently. Almost all good stuff, including imperial IPAs and imperial porters/stouts; and anything can be put on a flight without an upcharge. I don't know the NYC craft scene well, but i saw many beers at Top Hops that I didn't see anywhere else.
I had different staff each time, and all were congenial and knowledgeable. I was particularly impressed at how they interacted with walk-in traffic that might not be craft-drinkers, and working to figure out what they might want to try, often based on vague clues in response to the what-do-you-like question. Two examples I heard were "Um, wheat I guess" or "I don't know, but I don't like stouts or IPAs". They were able to talk through the beers and put together a flight that might appeal to the individual; and were never the slightest bit condescending regardless of the customer's level of knowledge. It's good to have craft ambassadors like that.
Background music was interesting but not loud or intrusive. Think I recall some Led Zeppelin, and some Beatles. The overall selection and volume made a nice background without being distracting.
Seating is limited, about 16 total seats. The time I was there on a Friday it was basically full by 4:30 or so. But afternoons on weekdays there was anywhere from 0 to 4-5 other folks there, mostly other non-regulars (Including one very nice English couple).
Food is quite limited, so I gave it a "none". They do have free pretzels; and cheese, meats, and olives for sale. Olives were the best bargain at $5, and went surprisingly well with the beer. Cheese plate starts at $15 for three cheeses (and baguette slices).
Didn't have a fridge at the hotel, so I didn't buy any bottles, but I did look them over and salivate. There was an extensive selection of local, US craft, and foreign.
05-19-2014 01:26:25 | More by Dave2234
4/5 rDev -8.7%
Great little place. Small simple bar to seat 10 or so with a few tables and chairs set up among their excellent bottle selection.
Staff is knowledgable,friendly and quick with samples and suggestions. Clientele is a mix of people young an old of varying classes and creeds. Nice.
The draft list changes often as does their take out/bottle selection and the prices of which are on par with other beer bars in the city.
05-18-2014 00:32:56 | More by baakabak
4.46/5 rDev +1.8%
I stopped here on a Saturday in March right when they opened at noon. Grabbed a flight, which subsequently led to a pint afterwards.
Kevin, the bartender was awesome, personable, very knowledgeable about beer, other cool beer bars in the city, history, and vocabulary (he used the word avuncular, I just looked it up!).
My trip coincided with the end of NY Beer Week, so I had some leftover drafts, Hopslam, 2 Kuhnhenn beers, locals from Barrier, Green Port, and Great South Bay, Founders Smoked Porter.
The place is decorated really cool, tall shelves with stuff for sale on the lower half, empty cool bottles on the higher shelves that were either shared at the bar, or donated by locals. A bar with 15 to 20 seats, 15-20 taps, then coolers line both walls towards the back of the store, with beer to go, or to crack on premises, for a small corking fee.
They have a TV, but it wasn't on. Cool sound system, Led Zeppelin was the listening choice for my visit.
No kitchen, but cheese plates and various snacks available, hot pretzels, olives.
Odd I mention the bathroom, but it was clean, and a lot of cool beer-related posters adorn the walls.
Overall, this place was great. We all dream about opening a beer bar someday, and this place is a good benchmark for what I'd want to do if I was ever able to. I'd make it a point to stop by if you are in the area.
03-03-2014 02:53:08 | More by millerbuffoon
Top Hops Beer Shop in New York, NY
96 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.